Press Releases - 2016

SFA End of Year Statement 2016

30/12/2016 - In an end of year statement, Sue O’Neill, Chair of the Small Firms Association (SFA), said: “2016 has been a rollercoaster year for small businesses. It began with optimism about the broadening and deepening recovery, but issues such as Brexit and emerging wage demands have shaken business confidence... .. Read more


Staff Christmas Parties

16/12/2016 - The Small Firms Association has advised small businesses holding staff Christmas parties to take pre-emptive action to reduce the likelihood of any negative repercussions for employees or the business. .. Read more


Small Firms Association elects Sue O'Neill as it's new Chair

13/12/2016 - The Small Firms Association is pleased to announce that Ms Sue O’Neill has been elected as it's new Chair by the SFA National Council, for a 2-year term. .. Read more


SFA National Small Business Awards 2017 Finalists announcement

05/12/2016 - The finalists in the SFA National Small Business Awards 2017 have been officially announced by Patricia Callan, SFA Director. The aim of the awards is to celebrate the achievements of small business in Ireland, and to recognise the vital contribution of the small business sector to Irish industry. .. Read more


SFA calls on Christmas shoppers to spend locally on Small Business Saturday

30/11/2016 - The Small Firms Association has called for 3 December 2016 to be ‘Small Business Saturday’ and has called on shoppers across the country to support small businesses in their communities. .. Read more


SFA & Love Irish Food launch campaign to support jobs by buying local food and drinks

28/11/2016 - Love Irish Food and the Small Firms Association (SFA) have called on consumers to consider the food and drinks they buy this Christmas, warning that Brexit could pose a serious threat to indigenous Irish food businesses that play a vital role in providing employment and supporting local economies... .. Read more


Insurance Crisis - Government must implement recommendations from Oireachtas Finance Committee

24/11/2016 - SFA Director, Patricia Callan, has welcomed the launch today of the Oireachtas Finance Committee's "Report on the Rising Costs of Motor Insurance", stating: “Ireland is facing an insurance costs crisis, one which can no longer be ignored... .. Read more


SFA Annual Lunch - Chairman's Address

18/11/2016 - Addressing over 500 small businesses at the SFA Annual Lunch (today, 18 November), sponsored by Bank of Ireland, SFA Chairman, AJ Noonan stated: “Serious threats abound for small businesses... .. Read more


SFA at All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit: Financial support schemes needed for exporters

02/11/2016 - The Small Firms Association is today, Wednesday 2 November, participating in the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit, voicing the concerns and needs of small businesses. Patricia Callan, SFA Director, stated... .. Read more


Budget 2017 fails to deliver for small business

11/10/2016 - The Small Firms Association (SFA) has criticised Budget 2017 for not recognising the immediate crisis facing small firm exporters in the context of Brexit. .. Read more


Book of Quantum a missed opportunity to address insurance crisis

05/10/2016 - Responding to the publication of the revised Book of Quantum, AJ Noonan, Chairman of the Small Firms Association, said “The process of revising the Book of Quantum has been a missed opportunity. The new Book merely reflects the level of awards that have been made in recent years, rather than assessing what would be an appropriate and fair award for specific injuries.” .. Read more


SFA National Employment Law Conference 2016

04/10/2016 - Speaking at the opening of the Small Firms Association (SFA)'s Annual National Employment Law Conference today, SFA Director Patricia Callan, stated that "the regulatory burden of complying with over 40 pieces of employment law is a major challenge for all small businesses, who cannot afford to employ a professional HR person." .. Read more


Impact of Brexit on small firms overwhelmingly negative

22/09/2016 - Speaking today at the Oireachtas Symposium on 'The Economic Implications of UK Withdrawal from the European Union', Patricia Callan, SFA Director, stated: "The UK is a key marketplace for our small exporting companies. It is a learning ground when they’re starting up, and it is not easy to diversify into other markets farther afield without significant resources." .. Read more


SFA welcomes Action Plan for Education

15/09/2016 - The SFA today, Thursday 15 September 2016, welcomed the Government’s Action Plan for Education. SFA Assistant Director, Linda Barry, stated: “Education and skills are critical to the future of small business in Ireland... .. Read more


An Taoiseach Launches SFA National Small Business Awards 2017

09/09/2016 - The SFA National Small Business Awards 2017 have been officially launched by Awards Patron, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD. Small firms (employing less than 50 people) have from today until 21 October to enter free of charge on www.sfa.ie/awards... .. Read more


Government must tackle insurance costs crisis

08/09/2016 - The SFA will today, Thursday 8 September 2016, appear before the Oireachtas Finance Committee to give a business perspective on rising motor insurance costs. SFA Director, Patricia Callan, stated: “Ireland is facing an insurance costs crisis, one which can no longer be ignored. Insurance costs have been increasing for a number of years... .. Read more


SFA criticises planned Dublin Bus strike action

30/08/2016 - The Director of the Small Firms Association, Patricia Callan, has today urged Dublin Bus workers to call off six days of strike action scheduled for the month of September. .. Read more


SFA Budget 2017 submission

22/08/2016 - The SFA today launched the small business priorities for Budget 2017. AJ Noonan, SFA Chairman, said: “Competitiveness must be at the heart of Budget 2017. In an environment where many factors are outside of our domestic control, the Government must relentlessly pursue improvements in the competitiveness of those areas it can influence." .. Read more


SFA condemns recommendation to increase the minimum wage

19/07/2016 - The SFA today condemned the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation of an increase in the National Minimum Wage (NMW), saying that there is no justification for any increase. .. Read more


Increasing the minimum wage would threaten small business

18/07/2016 - Ahead of the publication of the Low Pay Commission recommendations to Government this week, the Small Firms Association (SFA) has highlighted the danger of any increase in the National Minimum Wage. .. .. Read more


National Economic Dialogue - Tax Equalisation & Competitiveness key

27/06/2016 - Addressing the National Economic Dialogue this morning (27 June 2016), SFA Chairman, AJ Noonan, said that "small businesses have twin priorities for this process. The first is to ensure that the Government delivers on its commitment to tax equalisation for self-employed / proprietary directors... .. Read more


Brexit vote puts severe pressure on small firms

24/06/2016 - Patricia Callan, Director of the Small Firms Association, today reacted to the Brexit vote saying: “The UK’s vote to leave the EU creates significant challenges for small businesses in Ireland. The Sterling movements that we have already seen since this morning put severe pressure on Irish exporters and all companies that compete with UK firms.” .. Read more


SFA calls on UK to VOTE REMAIN

22/06/2016 - Expressing the concerns of the Irish small business community, Linda Barry, Assistant Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA), has called on the UK to VOTE REMAIN in the Brexit referendum... .. Read more


Euro 2016 promises boost to economy, but potential absence problem

13/06/2016 - SFA calls for “Be Irish – Buy Irish” Euro 2016 campaign. SFA urges companies to put absence management plans in place. The Director of the Small Firms Association, Patricia Callan, has said that Ireland’s achievement in qualifying for the Euro 2016 Finals will give a major social and economic boost to the country... .. Read more


SFA Launches "Vision for Small Business in Ireland"

25/05/2016 - SFA launches “Vision for Small Business in Ireland”- medium term strategy for small business growth at the SFA Annual Conference today. Small business sentiment strong – 60% growing; 70% to create new jobs. New Government must address cost of finance, pro-business tax policy and infrastructure deficit.. .. Read more


'Creditless' recovery a barrier to small business growth

06/05/2016 - The perception of 'creditless' recovery is acting as a barrier to small business growth. There are diverse sources of funding available - businesses must identify the right mix. SFA will bring together small businesses and funders for a free event in the River Lee Hotel, Cork on 11 May... .. Read more


SFA Calls for Minister for Small Business in new Government

03/05/2016 - The Small Firms Association (SFA) is calling for the reintroduction of a dedicated Minister for Small Business in the next Government, which hopefully will be agreed later this week. Patricia Callan, SFA Director said: “Half of all private sector jobs are in small companies, so it is imperative that the small business sector is given it's own dedicated Minister in the new Government, whose responsibility it should be to deliver tax equalisation for entrepreneurs, reducing business costs and improved competitiveness for our country.” .. Read more


Insurance cost crisis for small business

18/04/2016 - SFA Chairman, AJ Noonan, said today that “Small businesses are facing an insurance cost crisis, which can no longer be ignored. Insurance costs have increased by 29.6% since 2011, with costs skyrocketing in the last year in particular. Without quick actions from government this trend will continue, with devastating consequences for small businesses around Ireland.” .. Read more


Business groups call for clear, comprehensive deal that delivers full term government

12/04/2016 - Ireland's leading business groups, which represent the vast majority of the country's employers, today called for ongoing negotiations on the formation of the next government to deliver a clear, comprehensive agreement that will ensure the next administration is in a position to run its full term... .. Read more


Brexit poses risks to small businesses in Ireland

21/03/2016 - With just three months until the United Kingdom goes to the polls to decide whether or not to remain in the European Union, Linda Barry, Assistant Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA), has expressed the concerns of the Irish small business community... .. Read more


Topform wins Overall SFA National Small Business Award 2016

04/03/2016 - Topform has won the Overall SFA National Small Business Award 2016. Winners were selected from over 500 applications to seven categories. .. Read more


SFA Chairman criticises Easter Luas strikes

02/03/2016 - The Chairman of the Small Firms Association, AJ Noonan, reacted with incredulity to the announcement of strikes by Luas drivers on Easter Sunday and Monday .. Read more


SFA Comment on February Monthly Unemployment Figures

01/03/2016 - Welcoming the Monthly Unemployment statistics released this morning by the CSO, Small Firms Association (SFA) Director, Patricia Callan stated: "Small businesses are continuing to create jobs, with the SFA forecasting 30,000 additional new jobs in small firms this year... .. Read more


Small business essential to job creation

22/02/2016 - At the start of Election Week, AJ Noonan, Chairman of the Small Firms Association, said: “Half of all private sector jobs are in small companies, so no party can promise to create jobs without addressing the challenges facing small business. Governments do not create jobs – businesses do... .. Read more


SFA / Vodafone Speed Networking event in Galway

16/02/2016 - The SFA, in partnership with Vodafone, is delighted to host FREE Speed-Networking events for small businesses. The second Speed-Networking event of this season will be held in the G Hotel, Galway on Thursday, 18 February 2016. Speed-Networking provides attendees with an opportunity to have a series of three minute one-on-one meetings with a wide variety of companies, to build new business contacts .. Read more


Contingency planning for disruption to public transport

10/02/2016 - Commuters and passengers of the Luas face serious disruption on Thursday, 11th and Friday, 12th February following notice by SIPTU of strike action on both the red and green LUAS lines. Further strike action is planned for the 18th and 19th February. The decision by the union to pursue a pay claim that is so significantly out of line with pay increases in the wider economy leaves little prospect of an early resolution to this dispute. .. Read more


SFA condemns planned Luas strike

10/02/2016 - The Chairman of the Small Firms Association (SFA), AJ Noonan, has urged Luas workers to call off four days of strike action scheduled for 11, 12, 18 and 19 February. .. Read more


Responsible Small Business Survey - Small businesses committed to employees, communities and the environment

08/02/2016 - Results of the Responsible Small Business Survey conducted by the Small Firms Association and Business in the Community Ireland, which found that nearly all small businesses see the value that responsible business practices can provide. .. Read more


SFA National Small Business Showcase

01/02/2016 - Finalists from the Small Firms Association National Small Business Awards 2016 will gather at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8 from 2.00pm to 7:30pm today, Monday, 1 February to showcase their businesses. Minister Richard Bruton will open the event. .. Read more


SFA Launches its Small Business Priorities for the Election Campaign

25/01/2016 - Launching the SFA’s four-point plan for Election 2016, AJ Noonan, Chairman of the Small Firms Association, said: “Governments do not create jobs – businesses do – but the next Government must put the right policies in place to increase the ease and attractiveness of doing business in Ireland... .. Read more


Flexible Working essential to modern business processes

19/01/2016 - Patricia Callan, SFA Director, said that “Both job creation and the competitiveness of the Irish economy would be threatened by Government restrictions on flexible working conditions. Flexibility benefits both employees and employers and is an important feature of the modern workplace.” .. Read more


SFA Comment on Action Plan for Jobs 2016

18/01/2016 - The Small Firms Association (SFA) has welcomed the publication today of the Action Plan for Jobs (APJ) 2016. Patricia Callan, SFA Director, said: “Ireland has transformed itself once again into a successful and growing economy – in large part due to the entrepreneurship, perseverance and innovation of small companies... .. Read more


SFA National Small Business Awards Finalists Masterclass

15/01/2016 - 33 of the best small businesses in Ireland, from 16 different counties, are undertaking a Strategic Management Masterclass in the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, this weekend, as part of their €50,000 prize package for being short-listed as finalists in the “SFA National Small Business Awards 2016. .. Read more


SFA Comment on Monthly Unemployment Figures

05/01/2016 - Commenting on the Monthly Unemployment statistics released this morning by the CSO, Small Firms Association (SFA) Director, Patricia Callan stated: "It is concerning that job creation has now stalled, with the monthly unemployment rate remaining high at 8.8% from November to December 2015 .. Read more


Small Firms Outlook 2016

04/01/2016 - The small business community is optimistic about 2016, the Small Firms Association (SFA) found in its ‘Small Firms Outlook 2016’ survey report, published today. 77% of owner-managers feel that the business environment is improving, with just 4% indicating that it is disimproving. .. Read more



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